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The year was 2018. Meghan Markle married into the British Royal Family, Mamma Mia 2! Here We Go Again hit theaters, and AMP Agency kick-started efforts that grew into its Volunteer & Giving Program. It all began when program co-founders Alyssa McBryar and Thalia Rivera Ortiz expressed the desire to start a formal volunteer and giving practice in the AMP Boston office. Met with excitement from executive management, McBryar and Ortiz started working together to source local organizations for AMP to support, set up volunteer and giving opportunities, and engage employees on a monthly basis. Our program’s first year was well-received by Boston AMPers, finding successes in both in-office and out-of-office efforts. Since then, our Volunteer & Giving Program has expanded to AMP offices across the country, unifying our volunteer efforts and establishing them as a strength of our agency. AMP has donated 535 hours across 19 organizations, helping nearly 12,000 people throughout the country, and counting. The way it works. In an effort to align with employee values and make the AMP Volunteer & Giving Program more comprehensive and intentional, we’ve established quarterly cause themes based on top causes near and dear to our employees’ hearts. These themes unify efforts nationally and help us measure meaningful impact in the following areas: (Q1) Hunger & Homelessness, (Q2) Sustainability, (Q3) Health, Wellness, and Disabilities and (Q4) Children. So far, so good. As we’re wrapping up the third quarter of the year, we are excited to share the success we’ve seen through our volunteer program – from the number of volunteers who have participated, the lives we have helped, and the impact we’ve had on the planet. Fighting hunger and homelessness. Q1 saw us serve 100 hours across 5 hunger- and homelessness-focused organizations, creating a positive impact on 2,100 people. With Cradles to Crayons, we collectively donated 60 items and helped sort even more clothes and toys in the organization’s warehouse for 142 children in need. At the Greater Boston Food Bank, we unloaded 4,000+ lbs of food that were then set up in the cafeteria of the Orchard Gardens school so parents & families in need could ‘shop’ for free food. This helped relieve hunger for over 430 adults, children, and seniors. We also helped distribute over 20 Cradles to Crayons ‘kid packs’ filled with essentials to caretakers in the same space. As an in-office effort, we collectively donated 100+ essential items to poor and homeless women and their children through Rosie’s Place. For the Salvation Army, we donated enough clothes to help 200 people in need. With FareStart, we packed over 100 lunches and prepared dinners and desserts that were ultimately served to approximately 1,100 people in need through social service and school programs. Taking care of the planet. Turning our focus toward sustainability in Q2, we volunteered 295 hours at 6 organizations, helping not only 130 people, but the planet as a whole. For the Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, we collected 40 special occasion dresses in our office and donated them to the Big Sister’s Dream Dress Drive. Through this program, young girls can go “shopping” for a dress that will make them feel special on big days from Quiceneras to Prom. With the Fenway Park Green Team, we collected over 10 huge bags of recyclables from ballpark patrons between innings, helping to ensure items made it to the recycling instead of the trash or the ground. We helped clean up the Mass Audubon Society nature properties at their Mattapan location. This included trimming back branches from the fence, and filling multiple large bags with trash from the street and the property. As an in-office effort, AMPers took part in a Sustainability Challenge. Throughout the course of a week, we made the commitment to form more sustainable daily habits, like avoiding single-use plastics, using public transit, and turning off our laptops each day. We managed to keep over 500 items out of landfills by using reusable items, saved nearly 50,000 gallons of water by eating over 100 meatless meals, and prevented the emission of over 200 pounds of greenhouse gas by taking alternative transportation. Working with Community Lunch on Capitol Hill, we were able to provide hot, nutritious meals and survival services to low-income families and those experiencing homelessness. As part of Heal the Bay, we worked with over 500 volunteers over the course of an hour to clean up Redondo Beach, removing a total of 130lbs of trash from the shore. Leading happy, healthy lives. For Q3, we pivoted our volunteering efforts toward organizations that focus on bettering health, wellness, and inclusivity in our local communities. With the Boston Living Center, we prepared and served meals for over 100 local community members living with HIV. At the Ellie Bloom Special Olympics, we helped coach and cheer on 150 Special Olympics participants at various events throughout their big day. Supporting in style. On top of our volunteer program expansion, 2019 also welcomed the debut of our AMP Volunteer t-shirts. Designed by our very own Rick Dias from our LA office, these shirts have been given out to every AMPer who donates their time participating in our program. And to think, we have a whole quarter left to do some good. So far, it’s been nothing short of a fantastic year for our AMP Volunteering & Giving program. While we’ve already seen great success, there’s still so much more we can do. With the final quarter of 2019 left and many more volunteer opportunities on the horizon, we’re excited to see where our efforts take us next. After all, helping our clients is what brings us together. And together, helping our community is what makes us proud to call ourselves AMP Agency.